Who Pays for Educational Psychologists?

1-2 minutes

In this blog, you will learn:

Who pays for Educational Psychologists?

Local authority educational psychology services vary in terms of resources, provision, and consistency. The support schools receive from educational psychology services can vary from local authority to local authority. 

The funding models for educational settings include:

  • Free at the point of service.
  • Fully or partially traded services.
  • Statutory service provision only.
  • Specifically funded projects.

Free at the point of service

Prior to 2008, almost every local authority employed the services of Educational Psychologists free of charge to schools. However, with funding cuts and rising cost of living leaving children unable to access support, many local authorities moved to a partially or fully traded services model to generate income.

In a research report by the Department for Education, Educational Psychologists revealed that local authorities often provided free consultations to schools. 

This varied between local authorities, with some offering a set number of hours of educational psychology services that schools can use flexibly, and others offering a quota of consultations on a termly basis.

Fully or partially traded services

Many local authorities that once provided educational psychology services free of charge, now provide traded or partially traded services, meaning they are paid for by schools or by the local authority.

Traded model services included being given a time-allocation, pay-per-activity, or tiered packages of support and are done at the request of the school. 

Some schools can buy packages of Educational Psychologist support at the beginning of an academic year on a termly basis, with the option of adjusting the package throughout the school year to cater to the needs of the children and young people with SEND.

Statutory service provision only

Educational Psychologists also cover statutory assessments, and are involved in the work around children and young people with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) and providing advice for EHC needs assessments. 

Some local authorities commission the educational psychology service to meet statutory duties related to EHC needs assessments.

Statutory work is not available as a traded service and in some cases, it was the only way Educational Psychologists worked with schools, either through the local authority educational psychology service or by paying for private Educational Psychologists.

Specifically funded projects

Some educational psychological activities are funded through central government programmes or projects to work with specific educational settings to tackle wider issues. Specifically funded projects can allow Educational Psychologists to provide support to refugee families, reduce youth violence or support family and children.

Private Educational Psychologists

Schools, wider education settings and parents can pay for private educational psychology support to avoid long waiting lists for an EHC needs assessment or consultation. 

The shortage of Educational Psychologists and demand on educational psychology services, has meant that school staff frequently use private Educational Psychologists to work directly with children and young people with SEND.

This isn’t always cost-effective for schools who are driven to pay expensive private educational psychology services using their school budgets.

Educational Psychologist jobs

If you’re searching for your next Educational Psychologist job, why not take a look at the latest vacancies, or simply upload your CV to be notified when a relevant position becomes available.

Struggling to recruit Educational Psychologists?

As specialist local authority SEND recruiters, we support local authorities nationwide with their temporary, interim and permanent staffing needs. 

If you’re struggling to recruit, we have exclusive access to some of the most experienced interim Educational Psychologists in the UK.

Simply contact Natalie Boaler on 01772 954200 to discover how we can help.

Who is Spencer Clarke Group?

Established in 2017, we’re a vibrant and progressive recruitment agency based in the heart of the North West. 

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